Here is a hard one from AoPS. I have given it my all, but need some fast help. Here it is:
Suppose that I have 6 different books, 2 of which are math books. In how many ways can I stack my books on a shelf if I do not want the math books to be next to each other?
I tried to make 6 cases, a math book in the first position, in the second, third, and so on, but when I got to the third case, I found two more. It would get difficult quickly. Me and my parents don’t know what to do.
Thanks in advance!
The total possible arrangements = 6! = 720
Let's count the arrangements where the math books ARE together
They can appear in any of 5 positions and for each of these...they can be arranged in two ways....and in all these arrangements....the other 4 books can be arranged in 4! = 24 ways
So.....the total arrangements where they are together = 5 * 2 * 4! = 240 ways
So....the arrangements where they DON'T appear together = 720 - 240 = 480